First a list of actors with detailed characteristics. Here are some of these individuals and characteristics.
Pavel Nikolaevich Yeletsky, 32 years old. Petersburg official, not clever. A man is not evil, but without a heart.
Olga Petrovna Yeletskaya, born Corina, his wife, 21 years old. A kind, gentle creature.
Vasily Semyonitch Kuzovkin, a nobleman, who lives on the grain at Yeletsky, is 50 years old.
Flegont Aleksandrych Tropachev, landowner, 36 years old, unmarried. He served in the cavalry. By nature it is rude and even bashful.
Nartsis Constantinech Trembinsky, butler and head waiter Eletskikh, 40 years old. nodding, screaming, bustling.
Yegor Kartashov, Governor, 60 years old. Plump, sleepy. Where you can steal.
Praskovya Ivanovna, castellant, 50 years old. A dry, evil and bilious being.
We see on the stage a hall in the house of a rich young landowner. Windows in the garden, tables, armchairs. The butler commands the menacingly and menacingly before the arrival of the gentlemen.
In St. Petersburg, Olga Petrovna married an official. They must come here for the first time today. They are waiting.
Here comes the general excitement: gentlemen have arrived! The butler commands: “Musicians, musicians in places, where is bread and salt?”
Six discharged girls run to the front, the manager leaves with a dish on the porch, the rest of the janitor hovers in the doorway.
The carriage drives up, the music plays falsely: “Rumble thunder of victory…”.
“- Well, we are at home,” Olga says to her husband and points to him in the yard: “Here is your new master…”. Please love and respect”.
“- Mother you are ours, darling” …, – the Castellaness Praskovia is touched, taking Olga’s hat and mantilla.
Kuzovkin, “living on bread”, whom the butler always treats carelessly and downward, timidly approaches the lady. She recognized him! . And then Olga goes to inspect the house and garden after a long separation, invites Kuzovkin with his poor friend Ivanov, who lives next door. She is obviously a sweet creature, judging by her attitude towards the poor and the weak.
As for her husband… As soon as she retired, accompanied by her pathetic companions, who were happy with her attention, Eletsky, with the air of “chief of the department,” orders to
call the manager of the estate and first ascertain economic details: the number of souls, the quality of land and so on. He tomorrow is going to examine the estate of his wife and, apparently, will take everything in his hands.
Suddenly, a rich landowner, Phlegmont Alexandrovitch Tropachev, arrived. He gets acquainted with Yeletsky, very glad that such a neighbor has appeared. Since “one is bored on the road,” Phlegmont Alexandritch took with him Karpachev, a nobleman who “lives poorly for himself” and does everything to please him.
Then, returning from the garden, Olga goes to her room, apparently, to change from the road; the rest is served breakfast.
By the way, during the conversation at the table it turns out that Kuzovkin, the humiliated, poor Kuzovkin, who lives here “on bread”, is the heir of some village Vetrovo, but can not win a long-standing litigation: there is no money. “The stamped paper is worth one, and I’m a poor man.”
“- Yes, tell us, what’s the matter?” – offers Yeletsky.
And Kuzovkin, having drunk another glass for “courage”, tells a long story. Here and bills to someone someone from relatives issued, and “state arrears”, and auction bidding. An endless, stupidly told story causes universal laughter. It turns out in the end that some German bought all the bills and the lawsuit now goes with his heirs.
Tropachev, rich and impudent, for whom these stories are a fun entertainment, demands that Kuzovkin sang a song as well. He refuses. But Tropachev knows that with the deceased owner of the estate, Kuzovkin played the role of a jester, sang and danced when ordered.
“Do you see this glass of champagne? I’ll pour it on you for a tie,” Tropachev promised. He does not stand on ceremony with the weak.
“Kuzovkin: You will not do this, sir, I did not deserve this, s.
Tropachev. Do not you want to sing?
Kuzovkin. I can not sing-with.
Tropachev. You do not want? . Time…”.
Kuzovkin. Pardon me… what are you doing to me this way? I do not have the honor to know you-with… Yes, and I myself am a gentleman-well, if you please,
Tropachev. Last time…
Kuzovkin. It’s full, they say… I’m not a fool to you…
Yeletsky. In fact, leave it.
Tropachev. Yes pardon, because he played the same role as a jester with your test?
Kuzovkin. That’s the past-with. “
And then the unhappy “freeloader” tries to take a cheerful look and even begs for mercy: “I got pissed off, gentlemen, what to do… I got old-with, that’s what… Well, I’m not used to it either.
Tropachev. At least at least drink this glass.
Kuzovkin. . That’s with pleasure. “
This is that glass? Tropachev clearly keeps him all the time. It is visible, for own fun. He likes to mock the dependent, pitiful, humiliated. .
Kuzovkin quickly gets drunk, mutters something about the German Gangin, who deprived him of his estate Vetrovo.
“Served him – he served – he served in the Proviantian part – he knew, he had stolen darkness there – well, and now he says – my bill.”
Once the artist of the Moscow Art Theater Mikhail Yanshin played this role; played a comedy, for which a tragedy.
And here comes Tropachev’s henchman, Karpachev, imperceptibly before that left the room, and, stealing up behind to the drunken Kuzovkin, suddenly puts on his head a paper cap. Everyone laughed. Even Peter, laughing, peeks out from behind the door. How happy Karpachev that managed to please the owner. He, too, trampled and humiliated freeloader, and is not even able to understand the whole tragedy of the situation.
But no one could foresee Kuzovkin’s reactions.
Psychologists say: every person, even the most humiliated, has a sense of his own worth. Sometimes without realizing this, a person feels his trampled dignity and at the same time is capable of even acting, seemingly at first sight inexplicable.
And still there is a great commandment from the Sermon on the Mount of Christ: “If you want people to act with you, so do you and them.” Apparently, this means: treat carefully to someone else’s life, dignity, interests…
First Kuzovkin, weeping, muttering through tears: “For what, for what, for what” … He throws the cap to the floor and rebukes Yeletsky: “On the first day of your arrival… On the first day… For that, Why are you trampling me into the mud? .. But I was expecting you so much, I was so happy…
Tropachev. Well, fullness… What are you really?
Kuzovkin. I’m not talking to you… you were allowed to break me… you are happy. I’m talking to you, Pavel Nikolaevich. What did your father-in-law eat for a gratuitous piece of bread, and for the old, well-worn boots, I was laughing at me – why do you need the same? Well yes; his gifts of juice from me came out, bitter tears came out… Well, and you envied it? Ah, Pavel Nikolaevich! I’m ashamed, ashamed, father! … And an educated man, from Petersburg…
Yeletsky. Listen, however, you forget yourself. Go and sleep with yourself. You are drunk… You are not standing on your feet.
Kuzovkin. I’ll get to sleep, Pavel Nikolayevich, I’ll get to sleep… It’s not that, Pavel Nikolayevich. And here you that notice. Now you are all laughing at me, you mixed me with mud, on the first day of your arrival… and if I wanted, if I said the word…
Yeletsky. Eh! Yes, he’s completely drunk! He does not know what he is saying.
Kuzovkin. I’m sorry… I’m drunk-but I know what I’m saying. Now you are an important gentleman-a Petersburg official, educated, of course… but here I am, a fool, a fool, I do not have a copper for me, I’m a beggar, a parasite… but do you know who I am? So you married… On whom did you marry – eh?
Yeletsky. Take him away, please…
Kuzovkin. Wait, my dear sir… You have not told me yet whom you married… You are a gentleman, noble person, are not you? You married Olga Petrovna Korina… Corinne – the family is also old-fashioned, pillar… but do you know who she is, Olga Petrovna? She… she’s my daughter! ..
Yeletsky. You… you’re crazy…
Kuzovkin. Yes, I have gone mad “…
Soon the curtain falls. The first action is over.
Second action. Living room. Olga is sitting on the couch, beside her there is a castellar Praskovia Ivanovna, who asks: “Mother, what girls are you ordering your lady to identify?
Olga. What you want. “
Having agreed with the lady, Praskovya Ivanovna begins the usual slavish word-blows:
“- Golubushka you are our… We are not rejoicing, looking at you… Please come to the handle, Mother…”.
Her lady sends her away. Then a short conversation between Olga and her husband. It turns out that Yeletsky had already ordered to send Kuzovkin: “Of course, he is a poor man, he has nothing to live with… Well, well, he can take a room in another one of your village, assign a salary, grub…”.
Olga orders that Kuzovkin come to say goodbye to her before leaving,.
They are alone in the living room. The old man falls to his knees, denies everything for a long time. “Madness, Olga Petrovna, excuse me…”.
But Olga insists: “Tell me, is it true?”
And then Kuzovkin “suddenly lowers his head and whispers:” True. “
Here, very briefly, this truth.
“- I was about twenty years old… I was born, I can say, in poverty – and then I lost the last piece of bread – and it’s quite unfair, you can say… but, of course, did not receive education, of course, no… Father your dead, Heavenly Kingdom! .. I should have taken pity on myself – otherwise I would have completely disappeared, for sure, live, say, in my house, until I find a place for you. Well, of course, it’s not easy to find a place in the service – so I stayed…
And I’ll tell you, Olga Petrovna, your late father was a tough man, so steep that God forgive me! .. I’m also a little darling on my arm – and when I used to get angry, they do not remember themselves. I also liked to drink…
Well, at first he lived, your father, with the deceased your mother in great frets… Our neighbor at that time was wound up… Your father, take her and join her… Your mother used to be, for days on end sits alone, silent; or even cry… Other neighbors, landlords, too, reluctantly went to your father, he beat them off from his house, you might say, with arrogance; so, your mother, it used to happen, there was no one with whom to say a word… Itself, used to go away, but its prohibition… From every trifle into anger came. And the more your mother succumbed to him, the more he got angry. Finally completely stopped talking to her, she completely abandoned her. Ah, Olga Petrovna! Olga Petrovna! She suffered at that time, your mother! You can not remember her, Olga Petrovna, you were too young, you were my darling when she passed away. Such a kind soul, tea,
Olga, apparently, into it. Turgenev later will have many more noble, sweet heroines in all sorts of noble nests. But this landowner who mocked Olga’s mother, his wife… He, alas, is no exception.
Kuzovkin’s story is very long, only excerpts.
“She began to persuade him, and he would suddenly yell at her yes, taking a stick… Here he is… yes, sir.” Oh, Olga Petrovna, he mortally offended your mother and with words and… and with-s. .. The deceased, as if half-witted to her own half, came running, and he shouted to the people and into the departing field… Here… here… it happened… it’s about the matter. “It must be assumed that your mother, the deceased, such insult to the blood at that time, the mind was obsessed… How can I now see it…
Well… now, that evening… here she tells me all of a sudden: “Vasily Semyonitch, you, I know, love me, but he despises me, he threw me, he insulted me.. Well, so do I. ” She must have lost her reason, Olga Petrovna, she lost herself at all… Mother, Olga Petrovna, spare the old man… I can not… I’ll soon lose my tongue!
On the very next day… suddenly a traveling man runs into the yard… What is it? The master fell from his horse, he was killed to death, he lay without memory… And he lay in a steppe village, at the priest’s for forty miles… No matter how fast she was, she was hearty, but she had not found him alive yet…
Olga. So… I’m your daughter… But what evidence? .. “
But Kuzovkin is not going to prove anything. “” Proofs? Have mercy on Olga Petrovna, what proof? I have no proof, but how would I dare? Yes, if it were not for yesterday’s misfortune, I would not have let it out on my deathbed – I would have ripped out my tongue! I did not die yesterday, for goodness sake… No soul until yesterday, Olga Petrovna, have mercy… I myself did not dare to think of it alone.. After your death… my father… I wanted to run wherever my eyes were look… it’s to blame – there was not enough power – poverty was frightened, need for blood.. Remained, to blame… But with your mother, koynitse, I do not only speak, or that he could hardly breathe, Olga. Evidence! At first a few months, I and your mother have not seen at all – it is up to my room and locked themselves but Praskovya Ivanovna, maid, nobody was allowed to see their person… and then… then I saw it for sure, but, like before the Lord I spoke, I was afraid to look at her face… What are you worried about? What kind of evidence! Do not you believe me, the old fool… lied – that’s all… I’m out of my mind… do not believe it, Olga Petrovna, that’s all. “
The old man refused all assistance, but Olga almost forcibly handed him the paper later.
“- We are assigning you… the amount… for the redemption of your Wind…”.
And again comes to visit Tropachev, and he is informed in passing that Kuzovkin won his business, received the news and he is going to leave for his Windy.
The butler brings the glasses to everyone. “For the health of the new owner!” – Told Tropachev.
But with all this merry commotion… What terrible morals! Samodurs, trampling other people’s souls; poverty and dependence of others; egoism and indifference of the St. Petersburg official, and unexpectedly – the kindness, wealth and trustful generosity of the positive heroine of Olga, which turned the tragedy into a sweet vaudeville.